Tech 21, the company built around a pedal-size tube amp emulator, has released a new effect series consisting of 5 pedals and it has been called the SansAmp Character Series Pedals. These pedals have an identical design with different finishes, event different from any other pedal I’ve ever seen.
The 5 pedals are called Blonde, British, California, Liverpool, and VT Bass and all of them include the same features all-analog circuit, 3-band active EQ, drive and level controls, built-in speaker simulation and can be used as a preamp or as a stompbox before an amp. The sounds of the Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Pedals cover the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s distortion sounds, so I’m sure you will find one that fits your sound.
The Tech 21 SansAmp Character Series Pedals are now available and its MSRP price is $200.
The amps company Mesa Boogie has released their last effort for bass players, an extreme and powerful bass amp with all-tube circuit that results in a high quality bass tone. The Mesa Boogie Fathom Bass Amp is available in head and combo versions, this last version includes 2 x 12″ PH Neo 300 speakers, but other features are identical.
The Mesa Boogie Fathom Bass Amp features 600 watts power output, all-tube preamp circuit, 8 Power MOSFETs, 1 12AX7 tube, effects loop (with true hard bypass), gain, bass/pull deep (to enhance high or very low tones), passive mids, active treble, direct input level and master volume controls, 5-way active mid-voicing (to select from 5 different EQ curves and bypass like in a parametric EQ, these voices can be activated by the rear switches) and active/passive input switches and balanced XLR line and tuner outputs.
The head version comes in a 2U rack-mountable format and both have black bronco vinyl finish and a fan cooler. The Mesa Boogie Fathom Bass Amp price and availability have to be announced yet.
The new guitar series from Washburn are hybrid guitars that take the Parker’s carbon glass technology to apply it to the fingerboard resulting a faster and smooth fingerboard for heavy metal guitar players, or for everyone who need a very fast fingerboard. The Washburn HM Guitars has several models, and not all of them include the Parker technology, WV540, WM520 and WI550 are the USA made guitars and the WV40, WV40V, WM24V, WM24, WI50 and WI50V are the affordable ones, one of the letters means the body style V for flying v, M for strat-like and I for Idol body shape.
All the models feature mahogany body and neck (set on the USA-made models and bolt-on on the affordable ones), 24 frets, 25.5″ scale length, Floyd Rose bridge (Original or licensed, just like the neck join) and Grover Exclusive tuners.
The USA-made Washburn HM Guitars also feature the carbon glass epoxy composite Parker’s fingerboard, EMG 85 (neck) and 81 (bridge) humbucker pickups, 3-way pickup switch and 2 volume and 2 tone controls.
The affordable line of the Washburn HM Guitars feature rosewood fingerboard, Randall UL Neck and Ultra XL Bridge humbucker pickups, 3-way pickup switch and 1 volume and 1 tone controls. The new Randall humbucker pickups are specially designed to match any premium amp’s tone.
The Washburn HM Guitars are now available but their prices have not been unveiled yet.
Also introduced at Winter NAMM show are this new modeling amps by Peavey, a full combo amp serie that uses the 32-bit floating-point SHARC processors, that will have 6 models from 120 to 15 watts.
The Peavey VYPYR Modeling Amps shared features, besides the Vypyr 15, are 24 amp models (clean and dirty cannels for each amp), 11 StopBox (pre-amplifier) and 11 rack effects, analog pre-amp distortion, 12 programmable presets, onboard looper and chromatic tuner, 3-band EQ, pre and post gain controls and USB audio interface. The Vypyr120 and Vypyr 60 models also include a 6L6 power tube.
The combo models include custom speakers, 2×12″ for the Vypyr 120 and Vypyr 100 models, 1×12″ for the Vypyr 75, Vypyr 60 and Vypyr 30 models and 1×8″ for the Vypyr 15.
An optional accessory is the Peavey Sample foot controller that multiplies the number of programmable presets, from 12 in the amp to 400 in the controller. The Peavey VYPYR Modeling Amps will be available in Q2 of 2008, but the prices of the amps have not been unveiled yet.
PRS Guitars showed 12 new guitar models in the Winter NAMM show, including the Mira, and one of them was the last Santana and PRS signature model, the PRS Santana MD Guitar, a double cut-away and double humbucker guitar, although some rumors said that he was preparing a strato-like guitar.
The PRS Santana MD Guitar features mahogany body with carved flame maple top, mahogany neck, 24 frets, 24.5″ scale length, PRS tremolo bridge, MD Treble and MD Bass humbucker pickups, 3-way pickup switch, Mastering Voice Control mini-toggle (that provides a 60’s tone to the guitar) and volume and tone controls.
Although it is a new model it includes some features of the previous Santana signature models, but there are some improvements like McCarty-like positions for the controls, the new pickups and the mastering voice control. The price and availability of the PRS Santana MD Guitar have not been announced yet.
Ibanez has introduced 2 new S Prestige models that are upgraded versions of classic models with locking, the S5470 model, and non-locking bridges, the SV5470 model. This last model is the first model in the SV Prestige series that were annouced before the Winter NAMM show.
Both models feature mahogany body, maple/walnut neck, rosewood fingerboard, 24 jumbo frets and 25.5″ scale length, all the other features are different in each model. The S5470 model also features Zero Resistance ZRII double locking bridge with ZPS3 spring system, HGD1 and HGD2 humbucker (neck & bridge) and ST1 single-coil (middle) pickups, 5-way pickup switch and 1 volume and 1 tone controls.
WHile the SV5470 model features ash or flamed maple top, SynchroniZR trem bridge with ZPS-FX spring system, IBZ Tru-Duo Blast and IBZ Tru-Duo Blast humbucker (neck & bridge) and ST1 single-coil (middle) pickups, 5-way pickup switch and 1 volume (with push/pull coil split function) and 1 tone controls.
The availability of this models have to be announced yet, but the list prices are $1,730 for the Ibanez S5470 Prestige model, that is available in transparent black sunburst and satin oil finishes, and for the Ibanez SV5470 Prestige model, that is available in honey gold and natural blue.
The new effort on audio interfaces by MOTU is the 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface a cross-platform device that claims to be the most advanced Firewire interface and some of its features seems to confirm it. This interface can be programmed by the computer and then make it a stand-alone mixer with the adjustments you have made, so it really is a “plug-and-play” mixer.
The MOTU 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface 10 analog and 16 digital channels, 32 bit (mixing or processing, 24 bit when recording) and 192 kHz audio quality, on-board CueMix FX digital mixer, DSP effects (compression, EQ and reverb), phantom power for mic inputs, instrument/mic source selector for combo inputs, built-in preamps (with up to 53 dB gain), V-Limit hardware limiter and send/return effects loop. The connections of this interface are 8 1/4″ analog, S/PDIF digital, MIDI, Firewire, word clock and 2 optical I/O, 2 combo inputs and 2 XLR main and 2 front panel headphone outputs.
This interface comes with the CueMIX FX control and AudioDesk workstation software but it works with any Windows and Mac host-based effects using WDM, ASIO or Core Audio drivers. The MOTU 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface will be available on February and its list price is $795.
The effects company Heavy Electronics has unveiled their last pedal effort, the Red Eyes Overdrive Pedal, a guitar or bass pedal that provides a huge range overdrive tones, from soft fuzz to high gained sounds. This stompbox has adjustable LED brightness and a rugged cast aluminum case that makes it perfect for stage work.
The Heavy Electronics Red Eyes Overdrive Pedal is a very simple device with true bypass, only level and gain controls and a 6-way voicing switch that result a big range of sounds, but if you have not enough, the input voltage of this pedal can be progressively reduced from the normal 9V to 1V providing a totally different way of controlling the tone of your stompbox.
This effect pedal is handmade, customizations are available and has a 5 year warranty. The Heavy Electronics Red Eyes Overdrive Pedal availability has not been announced yet but the MSRP price is $150.
The new DJ controller released by Hercules is an affordable product for professional DJs, that can be carried anywhere because of its size, same width as a laptop, and has a built-in audio interface. The Hercules DJ Console Rmx provides all the precision that a DJ needs, with precise controls that are ergonomically placed so you have the maximum room between them.
The Hercules DJ Console Rmx features 2 decks, 2 jog wheels, 3 volume, 2 pitch and 1 cross faders, 3-band EQ and gain control per deck and balance and transport controls. Function buttons include kill (bass, mid or treble frequency on/off), 4-way navigation (to select music from the library), 2 load (to load selected songs into each deck), 2 source (switches the audio source played), 2 pitch reset, 2 beat lock and 2 sync (adjusting pitch settings), 2 loop in/out and 4 effects (flanger, beat-grid, flipping double and reverse). The connections included on this controller are mic (for talk-over) and 2 stereo RCA inputs, 2 stereo 1/4″, 2 stereo RCA and headphones outputs and USB connection.
This controller works with Windows and Mac OS X computers and comes with a special version of VirtualDJ 5 DJC Edition software with specific features for this device. The Hercules DJ Console Rmx will be available on March and its retail price is $350.
We did not talk about Korg releases in the Winter NAMM show, one of the is this Korg Pa2X Professional Arranger Keyboard, a easy-to-use keyboard with high quality sounds using Real Experience technology, internal hard disk and an adjustable TouchView screen that provides an intuitive interface for controlling the keyboard.
The Korg Pa2X Professional Arranger Keyboard features 76 semi-weighted keys with velocity and aftertouch, 120 voices, 120 oscillators, 4 stereo digital multi-effects (including 124 effects types, 3-band EQ and built-in TC Helicon voice processor), more than 950 sounds or drum kits, more than 400 preloaded styles, 4 real-time tracks, MP3 player and recorder, DVD/CD player and LCD touchscreen display. The controls and connections include 4 assignable pads, master and MP3 volume, octave and master transpose, pitch and modulation joystick, 8 assignable sliders, 2 assignable switches; and unbalanced/balanced stereo or mono line, headphones and S/PDIF digital outputs, 2 unbalanced/balanced stereo or mono line and mic (with gain control and phantom power) inputs and MIDI and USB connections.
There are a lot of accessories for this product, like memory expansion boards or a video output for displaying lyrics. The Korg Pa2X Professional Arranger Keyboard is now available and its MSRP price is $4,600.